Saturday, June 13, 2009

Social Phobia

One of the problems I was facing that motivated me to start the Truehope program was a growing social phobia. I am surprised to see on the Truehope message boards that it is actually not that uncommon.

Back before my breakdown I did personality tests at work that showed that my natural state is extroverted. It is almost ten years since my breakdown now, and the first five of that were spent trying to stabilize my depression. I tried every drug on the market before I settled on Risperdal, Wellbutrin and eventually Celexa as well. These left me not depressed, per se, but with a growing social phobia.

What do I mean by that? Well, for me it means that going out is a real trial. Things that people take forgranted like showering and putting on something other than stretchy pants are big challenges and require advance planning. So the cards have to be right there. Then there is the travelling to the outing. When I go downtown I take the train, so I have to be on time for that. Otherwise I'll drive. Now, I love driving as a rule, but when I am going out I have to worry about the weather, parking, traffic, and they all seem like big challenges when I am contemplating that on top of showering and getting dressed. It is like a long chain of things that all have to go right.

Once I am actually out with my friends I always have a good time, I guess my extroverted nature finally is released, and I try to remember this beforehand, but I still take a long time between outings summoning my reserves. I see my friends rarely these days.

Now I think a doctor would say this is all a symptom of depression, and maybe it is. What I do know is that the drugs I was on weren't doing anything to help it, and in fact it was getting progressively worse. I was looking at a bleak future of sitting on my sofa, well, lying on the sofa, afraid to leave the house. So, while getting off my medications and lowering my blood sugar levels is my primary goal, getting out of the house a little more often would be a nice bonus.